BRATTLEBORO – The master of physical comedy and death-defying stunts returns to the big screen at the Epsilon Spiers on Saturday, November 26 with a double feature of silent films directed by Buster Keaton, accompanied by a live organ soundtrack.
The evening begins with the short film The Scarecrowfollowed by one of Keaton’s greatest motion pictures, Our hospitality. New Hampshire-based organist Jeff Rapsis will perform a live soundtrack for both films on the historic 1906 Estey pipe organ installed in the chancel of the renovated Gothic cathedral that houses Epsilon Spiers.
“The magic of Buster Keaton’s films – especially the finely crafted film Our hospitality — is that they continue to appeal to audiences of all ages almost a century after their creation,” said Jamie Mohr, executive director of Epsilon Spiers, in a press release. “Keaton’s natural talent for comedy is complemented by his filmmaking genius, which combines breathtaking stunts with creative innovation and exquisite attention to detail.”
The Scarecrow is “a delightful romp” in which Keaton navigates various misadventures – including losing most of his clothes in a hay threshing machine and an accidental proposal of marriage – while trying to win the love of a farmer’s daughter.
Our hospitalityBased on the historical Hatfield-McCoy feud, follows the story of a feuding couple (played by Keaton and his real-life wife, Natalie Talmadge) who navigate dangerous situations in their quest to be together.
The film, which Keaton also directed, showcases his acrobatic skills, talent for physical comedy and unparalleled fearlessness when performing his own stunts. Keaton almost died during filming Our hospitality when a safety line snapped while filming a scene in the rapids of a raging river, and the risk involved in many of the stunts becomes an excitingly suspenseful viewing experience for audiences.
Rapsis returns to Epsilon Spiers having previously performed live organ soundtracks for the films The Phantom CarriageThat last commandand It. Since 2007, Rapsis has been creating original soundtracks for silent films that combine traditional elements of film music from the time the films were made with contemporary improvisation.
He is also co-founder and associate editor of a weekly newspaper based in Manchester, New Hampshire and serves as executive director of the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, a non-profit educational center at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
Tickets for this family-friendly event are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 14. Season tickets for those with financial difficulties are available for only $5 at epsilonspires.org.